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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Scouting Report H Kuroda

The Mets faced Kuroda on May 6th (5 2/3 innings, 5 runs, 7 hits including 2 home runs by Davis and Pridie, while striking out 3. Here is the scouting report from then.

The 36-year old is in his 4th year (re-signed this year for 1 year, $12 million dollars) in the United States after coming over from Japan. Rarely walks anyone (2.1 W/9), and rarely lets up HR ( < 1 HR/9), which is a very successful combination. Ground-ball pitcher that doesn't strike out a ton of hitters (6.45 K/9 for his career, but saw it rise to 7.3 last year). He is a very solid middle of the rotation pitcher when healthy, and had the 9th highest swing and miss % last year.

Kuroda uses a high 3/4s delivery, with a pause at the top of his delivery to gather himself/disrupt the hitters timing. He throws 89-92 mph fastballs to both sides of the plate, has two different sliders (one has a tight sharp break, the other is more of a slurve), and uses a split-finger fastball as his strikeout pitch. He has increased the use of his curveball to 5%, and gets 34% of swings at balls out of the strike zone, which is pretty impressive (average is 28%).

This year, Kuroda is 6-9 with 17 starts (108 innings), but he has a 2.90 ERA, and 1.21 WHIP.He's throwing his fastball more this year (60%), and cur his slider down from 31 to 21% (curve and split % increased). He's gone 5 innings+ in every start this year, and has recorded a quality start in 13 of the 17 games, including 6 in a row.

In his career versus the Mets, he's 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA, but that's mostly due to 2008 and 2009 starts. Lats year he faced the Mets twice, and pitched very well (14 innings, 2 earned runs, and 1.00 WHIP), but was 1-1 since Johan dominated the Dodgers in his first start.

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